Archaeometry is the interface between Natural Sciences and Archaeology. It is based on the application of scientific analytical techniques, models and knowledge on archaeological questions and assists Archaeologists in the interpretation of their finds. Prime examples of this intercalation of the disciplines are radiocarbon dating of archaeological materials, provenancing of raw materials such as stone, clay or metal or the calculation of the firing temperature through the mineralogy of a ceramic compound.
In Fribourg, the Archaeometry Group has been established in 1974 by Prof. Mario Magetti. Since 2005, it is lead by Prof. Vincent Serneels.
The focus of our research is on the characterization of inorganic materials such as Ceramics, Stones and Mortars, Pigments, Glass and Metals and Slags. As suggested by our association with the Department of Geosciences, we are deeply rooted in the Earth Sciences (Mineralogy, Petrology, Sedimentology, Palaeontology etc.) and mostly apply the respective methods in our research.
In our Research Projects, the main questions are related to the provenance of raw materials and the understanding of the technology of production. This interest has lead to various Study Sites both in Europe and Africa.